At a time when the West is limiting contact with Russia, Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar was in Moscow to hold a lecture, which academic and IRL politician Mihhail Lotman says can be interpreted as a sign of approval.
Although the lecture was entitled “Cooperation Between European Cities in the Modern World,” Savisaar focused more on criticizing Estonia state economic and cultural policy towards Russia, Lotman said in his blog on Wednesday.
He said the timing, during the Russian Parliament's vote to annex Crimea, and the place where Savisaar lectured, the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry, were also highly significant.
The academy was founded by Joseph Stalin and trains top-level foreign ministry civil servants.
Lotman said Savisaar's soundbite on the referendum in Crimea, in which he said the legitimacy of the vote had little importance, was picked up by Russian media as the only positive reaction by European nations on Russia's recent venture. Lotman added that Savisaar later said he was misquoted, but that has failed to pass media thresholds in Russia.